On September 16, 1997, about 1330 Alaska daylight time, a tailwheel, tundra tire equipped, Piper PA-22, N5840Z, crashed during landing at the Northway Airport, Northway, Alaska. The airplane was being operated as a visual flight rules (VFR) cross-country personal flight, when the accident occurred. The airplane, operated by the pilot, sustained substantial damage. The certificated airline transport pilot, and the sole passenger, were not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed. The flight originated at Merrill Field, Anchorage, Alaska, at 1030.

During a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigator-in-charge (IIC), on September 20, 1997, at 0930, the pilot reported he was landing on an asphalt covered runway, runway 04, at the Northway Airport. The pilot planned to perform a wheel landing. During the landing roll, the airplane ground looped and departed the right side of the runway. The airplane received damage to the left wing spars, left aileron, the left horizontal stabilizer, and the left elevator.

In the pilot/operator report (NTSB form 6120.1/2) submitted by the pilot, he indicated the wind conditions were from 010 degrees at 3 knots. The pilot also indicted he had accrued a total of 3 hours in the accident airplane make and model.

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